Salah Khashoggi, son of murdered journalist, leaves Saudi Arabia after travel ban is lifted
- Salah Khashoggi and his family are flying to Washington, Human Rights Watch said
- Saudi prosecutors now agree that the killing of Jamal Khashoggi in the kingdom’s Istanbul consulate was premeditated
Salah Khashoggi, the son of the murdered Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, and his family have left the Gulf kingdom after the Saudi government lifted a travel ban, Human Rights Watch said Thursday.
“Salah and his family are on a plane to (Washington) DC now,” said Sarah Leah Whitson, HRW’s executive director for the Middle East and North Africa.
On Tuesday, Saudi Arabia’s King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman met with Salah and other relatives.
The event sparked online anger, when Riyadh released a photo of a stone-faced Salah shaking hands with Prince Mohammed, a man many accuse of being behind the killing of Salah’s father.
Reports of the meeting said that King Salman and Prince Mohammed offered their condolences to the family of the Saudi journalist.
Khashoggi – a Washington Post contributor and critic of the crown prince – was killed after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, on October 2.
After more than two weeks of vehemently denying Khashoggi’s death, the Saudi government on Saturday said he was killed in a fight inside the consulate, but that the murder was not state-sanctioned.
Surveillance photo purports to show Saudi diplomatic vehicle scouting forest day before Khashoggi killing
In another change to the Saudis’ evolving explanation for the killing, prosecutors now say the killing was premeditated.
The Saudi prosecution had received information from Turkish investigators suggesting that the suspects intended to kill Khashoggi, and would continue its inquiry in light of those findings, the official Saudi Press Agency said on Thursday.
Khashoggi was a US resident and had lived in self-imposed exile in Virginia since 2017, shortly after the powerful Prince Mohammed was appointed heir to the throne.
Additional reporting by Bloomberg